Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 55

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 29 gennaio 2020

OSWIECIM (Poland) On the site of former German Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and Chairman of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Foundation (ABMF), today rang the alarm bell on the rise of antisemitism, appealing to world leaders to advance Holocaust education before it’s too late. As part of the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army, the ABMF — under Ambassador Lauder’s leadership — organized a survivors’ delegation of more than 100 Auschwitz-Birkenau survivors and their families from the United States, Canada, Israel, Australia, Latin America and several European countries.The preceding night, Lauder and the ABMF welcomed the survivors at a dinner gathering in Krakow also attended by Jewish community delegations from around the world. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke to those gathered and called the survivors “strong and incredibly courageous” and “rays of sunshine that penetrated the darkness.”
At the January 27 official International Holocaust Remembrance Day memorial ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Lauder presented keynote remarks on behalf of the Pillars of Remembrance, private donors who support the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation and its mission to preserve the authenticity of the memorial site. Lauder emphasized that it was the scourge of antisemitism combined with world indifference which led to the Holocaust, and urged citizens and government leaders everywhere to speak out against intolerance and hatred.Marian Turski, a Polish Auschwitz survivor who spoke during the ceremony, warned that Auschwitz “did not fall from the sky.” He said that Auschwitz and its horrors existed as a result of world indifference to antisemitism and discrimination.In his remarks, Piotr M.A. Cywinski, Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and President of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, asked, “Where and why did we squander our basic fundamental values? When will Auschwitz become a reality that has been overcome and liberated? In the very essence of the cry of ‘never again,’ the liberation of Auschwitz continues right here, right now, every day.”
After a ceremonial blowing of the shofar, Cantor David S. Wisnia, a member of the ABFM’s survivor delegation, recited the traditional Jewish memorial prayer, El Maleh Rahamim, and invited participants to join him in the Mourner’s Kaddish.Profiles of survivors participating in the delegation can be found at preserveauschwitz.org/survivors-stories.Background on Ronald S. Lauder’s commitment to the preservation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial
Lauder, former U.S. ambassador to Austria, dedicated his efforts to the preservation of the memorial at Auschwitz-Birkenau after visiting the site with his family in 1987 and finding a state of disrepair that threatened its disappearance. He committed to its preservation for future generations, shortly thereafter bringing in curators from the Egyptian Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to assess the needs and create a plan. Lauder, with the help of Auschwitz survivors Kalman Sultanik and Ernest Michel, raised the initial $40 million from 19 countries to ensure the site’s preservation. Lauder has donated tens of millions of dollars toward the memorial site’s preservation.In 2003, with the financial support of the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum opened its Conservation Laboratories. The laboratory’s mission is to preserve material traces of the camp, including every shoe, every document and every building that remain at the site.
The WJC is committed to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and of the millions of Jews and countless Jewish communities destroyed during the Holocaust, and to advocating on behalf of its survivors and their families. The WJC works to raise public consciousness of the dangers of religious, racial and ethnic oppression and persecution. In the weeks leading up to International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the World Jewish Congress launched its fourth annual #WeRemember campaign to spark a global dialogue around the need for better, stronger and more widespread Holocaust education. The campaign invited participants to take a picture of themselves holding a sign with the words “We Remember” and to then share the photo on social media.

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